by Alex Zaqwan Yusuf
Wish I could tell all of my experience, but I’m sure you get the picture. Fun all the way.
– Read Part 1 of the story HERE
My biggest task in Brazil was to order my first meal; I couldn’t speak a word in Portuguese, and the waiters couldn’t understand a word in English. That was when I realised the power in sign language, and the pain dumb people feel when they can’t get one to understand them. In the end, I was only able to order a burger and coke *laughs*. Finally the day was over and I was in my bed, to catch some rest.
The very next day saw me up with so much enthusiasm to tour the city. In a town of Formula 1, I knew I just had to visit the race track. After breakfast, that morning, I rushed to get prepared for the day’s ‘waka’. Luckily for me, 2 Nigerians staying at same hotel, had scheduled to visit the race track, so I opted to join them instead. The Interlagos racetrack was well beyond my expectations, an amazing sight to behold. Off course I took lots of pictures with cars and drivers, not leaving out the race starters; beautiful ‘well shaped’ Brazilian models. Outside of the tracks was a beauty in its own style, as audience came with their ‘well-pimped’ vehicles with clear view of spectacular wheels and jamming sound systems. Well I thought Nigerians played loud music till I got to Brazil. The sound of the music from their vehicles were all at max volumes, with enhancement from external speakers. There was no doubt that I was loving this. As with every other thing, there’s always an end. Yes I had to return to my hotel, to join the rest of the team.
Getting back to the hotel, I was informed of the special dinner that was in place for us at a special restaurant few kilometres away from Ibis. It was the famous Vento Haragano barbeque restaurant, which got its name from the wind (Haragano) that blows from north of Rio Grande do sul. It was a really pleasant place, and classy at that. And although I couldn’t really find anything in the buffet to eat comfortably, I enjoyed the roasted beef which I ordered over and over again to fill my stomach. We spent about 2 hours before heading back to the hotel to retire to our rooms.
Wish I could tell all of my experience, but I’m sure you get the picture. Fun all the way. I felt the desire to really get to mingle with people, so I decided to watch Brazil’s match in a local bar the next day; a place called ‘Aero Beer’. The atmosphere was overwhelming as they showed full support for their team. For every goal scored by Brazil, everyone got a free glass of beer. Thanks to the players we (I and three new friends I had made on the trip) got four free glasses each. After the match it was samba time, as a local artist thrilled us to some smooth melodies. The fans in the bar were welcoming and we all danced and held hands as I learnt the samba dance. It was now 9:00pm and we had to be back to our hotel. As expected we shared a few pictures with fans and exchanged contacts we those we found interesting.
Wednesday, July 24, was our city tour day. Unfortunately departure was a little delayed, so we were opportuned to visit just two places; but as usual I made the best of it. First we visited the afro Brazil museum. It was interesting to see that most of the items in the section dedicated to paying tribute to Africa displayed lots of items from Nigeria. The most amazing part of the museum was the section dedicated to soccer. Images of past Brazilian soccer greats, first soccer ball, and the jersey of Pele the greatest footballer ever, amongst others. Then of course we had to do some shopping, we had seen enough of the malls around and wanted to be to the local market. Shopping with the language barrier wasn’t as difficult as I expected, but even interesting, as we negotiated by typing digits on calculators; I had never had to do that before. The shopping was brief as most of the shops were closed, because we arrived the market a little late; although I still got lots of souvenirs to take home.
Then came the big day, when Nigeria was scheduled to play Argentina. I couldn’t sleep at all the night before, as I was filled with anxiety, and also had to ensure I didn’t over sleep as we were scheduled to depart the hotel at 2:00am for a flight to Porto Alegre venue of the match. Luck for me, this was moved to 5:00am, meaning I had a little time to rest my head. A couple of hours later we were all up an ready to leave, then came the news which turned out to be the only downside of my stay; we weren’t going to see the game live at the stadium. The travel agency responsible for the trip had encountered some issues and couldn’t fulfil their promise of watching the match live. Fans were downcast but there was nothing we could do. But then out of the blue, DSTV Management arranged for us to watch the match at a local viewing centre. It turned out to be an amazing afternoon, as we were treated to a buffet, while we watched the match on big screen. Thanks to the Super Eagles, we had a good day in the end as they had a spectacular game, despite losing to Argentina. With this excitement about the match, it wasn’t long before we all forgot that the game was watch on television.
Sadly I had come to my last night in Brazil, and I had to pack my things together for my trip back to Nigeria. I checked my wallet, and found that I still had lots of their currency to spend before I depart, so I hurried into the mall across the street to do a quick last minute shopping. Well I got to realise that last minute shopping is the best. No much time to make choices about price, just go with the one that attracts you first. After about thirty minutes of walking through the mall, I was back at the hotel to complete my packing and enjoy my short sleep.
It was morning in a short while, and time to leave Brazil, our flight was quite early so we had to hurry to the airport. All the while as we drove to the airport, I couldn’t help but relive all the fun memories in my head. I had really enjoyed my stay here in Brazil, and was happy to head back to tell the story of my journey. I love traveling, and have been to many places, but I must say, this was one of my best trips.
Flying back to Nigeria was a lot shorter to me, unlike the trip to Brazil, and soon it was touch down in MMIA. All on my mind was gratitude to DSTV for an amazing experience. Thanks to God for a safe trip all the way.
Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.